Google Allo

Google Allo

Allo 5.0 teardown reveals new features, some activated and some hidden

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The folks over at 9to5Google have found some interesting features that are coming with the latest Allo 5.0 update, some already activated like Chrome Custom Tabs, and some hidden for later.

See also:

Are you one of the 10 million who have installed Google Allo?

December 15, 2016

In their usual APK teardown, 9to5Google has given us a glimpse into what features are coming with the latest Google Allo update. The most obvious addition is Chrome Custom Tabs: essentially an in-app browser, now when you click on a web link, you will be able to see it within the Allo app, not unlike what Facebook or Slack has done.

That way, it saves you the time of switching back and forth between apps. The top bar of the in-app browser even matches your chatroom theme! Of course, if you prefer it to open up your default browser, you can disable the feature in settings.

Now, there are other features other than Chrome Custom Tabs, but it seems like Google isn’t quite ready to flip the switch on for those. One of them is a button that can generate stickers based on your selfie. Although it’s not clear how this will work – or even how well this will work – the basic idea is that you will get a sticker pack that is based on your very own face. Google will reportedly then ask you for your feedback so that it can improve its algorithm.

Although it’s not clear how this will work – or even how well this will work – the basic idea is that you will get a sticker pack that is based on your very own face.

According to 9to5Google, there are some indications that Google may be considering recruiting beta testers more actively in the future, and there is also evidence that Google will be prompting users to rate the app in the Play Store (although that may or may not have been activated already).

If you are not using Allo and would like to try it, feel free to click the button below to download it!

Download Allo from Play Store

What are your thoughts on Google’s selfie-based sticker pack? Cool or creepy? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Welcome to the 170th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • Google Allo limped over the ten million installations mark this week. It’s a number to be proud of, but we all know that Allo has had a cold reception from almost everyone. That makes the ten million mark seem both impressive and a little sad. The app has been getting better and we’re sure it’s only a matter of time before things pick up a little more. As it stands, these things are marathons and not sprints, so it’s still too early to call this a success or failure.
  • Evernote has updated their privacy policy and everyone’s pretty mad about it. The policy will give a small number of Evernote employees the ability to view your notes. According to the CEO, this is so the machine learning features that will be implemented soon can work properly. Thankfully, the company will give users the option to opt out of this if they want to. The change will take place in late January so keep your eyes peeled if you use Evernote.
  • Okay, so get this. Someone actually went and spent $1 million on a freemium game. The guy who did it actually stole the money from the job he was working. He then turned around and blew a million of it on a game called Game of War. He also spent money on plastic surgery and season tickets to the San Francisco 49ers. As you can imagine, the man has been arrested. This also no doubt helped Game of War’s bottom line quite a bit.
  • Google released their top regular search trends for 2016. As you can imagine, it sums up the year pretty well. You see the expected results like Hillary Clinton and Trump along with Prince, the Olympics, David Bowie, and Pokemon Go. The very top of the list was Powerball, which was worth a mind-bending $1.56 billion back in January. Apparently, everyone wanted to see how that turned out.
  • Super Mario Run was released on iOS this last week. There are tons of game play videos on YouTube now if you want to check that out. It’s had a fairly polarizing reception so far with some praising the mobile-centric game play while others wish it adhered to older Mario mechanics. In either case, you can get it on iTunes now. Nintendo is going to release the game on Android. However, they have been a little quiet on when that will happen for right now.

For even more Android apps and games news, releases, and updates, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you can find all of the Android apps and games news that we didn’t have space for here. You can sign up for the newsletter using the form below if you want and we’ll send it to you every Sunday. Don’t forget to check out the Android Authority app!

Android Apps Weekly!
Subscribe to the Apps Weekly newsletter.

Retro Winter Sports 1986

[Price: $1.99]
Retro Winter Sports 1986 is a sports game that is actually comprised of six other mini-games. You’ll be able to play retro versions of Ski Jump, Biathlon, Bobsled, Speed Skating, Curling, and Slalom. The graphics are as you’d expect from a game with the word “retro” in it. You’ll also be able to play against other people, choose between 12 different nations, and you’ll have access to leaderboards and achievements via Google Play Games. It’s a cheap game with no in-app purchases.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyEvents from Facebook

[Price: Free]
Events from Facebook is the latest arm of Facebook to be spun off into its own app. This one handles all of your events. It also allows you to search for other events that you may want to attend. You’ll also be able to import calendars from your phone to keep track of them as well. The interface is a bit clunky but still usable. It’s also worth noting that the app’s layout isn’t all that great either. You can try it and it should work for the most part. However, don’t expect the most enjoyable experience right now.

Download now on Google Play!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyKathy Rain

[Price: $4.99]
Kathy Rain is a puzzle-adventure game with a retro style. You’ll play as Kathy, a go-getter journalist who is investigating the death of her grandfather. The journey is wrought with peril and some emotional distress. As a player, you’ll follow a trail of clues that will lead you to the killer. The game features 40 hand-drawn environments, 40,000 lines of dialogue, and even voice acting. It’s a nice blend of old and new and there are no in-app purchases.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyNetflix VR

[Price: Free]
Netflix has officially released their app for Daydream VR. The good news is that it should work with all of their video content. The VR experience puts you in a room with a TV with Netflix playing on that TV. It actually looks pretty cool. The bad news is that the app is suffering from some release bugs which include playback errors. The UX probably could use a little work as well. Still, it does work most of the time so it’s worth a shot if you have Daydream.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyShadow Bug Rush

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Shadow Bug Rush is an action-platformer mixed with an infinite runner. You’ll play as a little silhouetted robot as you cut your way through various enemies and levels. It features one-finger controls, procedurally generated levels, and dozens of obstacles for your to overcome. You’ll also have leaderboards and achievements if you want those. It’s a freemium game which isn’t great. However, it’s a good little time killer that looks nice and plays well.

Download now on Google Play!


Related best app lists:

If we missed any great new Android apps, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

Are you one of the 10 million who have installed Google Allo?

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Google’s messaging platform has reached another milestone – three months after its launch, it has now passed 10 million installs on the Play Store. 10 million might sound impressive on its own, but in reality, Google Allo just isn’t doing too hot.

See also:

Why Google Duo has very little chance of succeeding

August 16, 2016

Google introduced Allo and Duo way back in May. Duo was first to launch, and this video-calling sibling has been doing comparatively well. In fact, it surpassed 10 million installs some time ago and is headed for the 50 million mark. Allo, on the other hand, is a different story.

Four days after its launch, it garnered 5 million downloads, and it’s taken Allo three more months to get another 5 million. Of course, all apps tend to peak during the first week or so of its launch and then die down, but Allo’s plateauing happened too soon, it seems. Take an app like Pokemon Go, for instance: during its launch weekend, it hit 50 million downloads on the Play Store and continued the trend to well over 500 million just two months after the initial release date.

Or let’s have a look at Facebook Messenger, which launched in August, 2011. It was in August, 2014 that the app hit 500 million downloads on Android, which means that on average, around 14 million people installed it per month over the course of three years. Compare that to Allo with 3 million per month, and that’s during its peak period!

There are several factors at play here, in my opinion. First, the market is oversaturated: we have the default messaging app that comes with every phone, we have Facebook Messenger, and we have a slew of other messaging apps that are more ubiquitous like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Kik, etc. There’s simply no reason to get yet another app when what you already have does the exact same job. Second is Allo’s lack of SMS support. Google Allo can’t be used as a default SMS app, meaning you’ll have to get your friends to download Allo in order to communicate with them. It may have a wide array of stickers for you to use, but without that convenience, what do those stickers mean? And even if it added SMS support, the story wouldn’t be too different. Older generations that do use SMS will stick to preloaded SMS apps, and younger generations that are seeing a shift away from SMS messaging will continue to use more popular platforms like Facebook and Snapchat.

Older generations that do use SMS will stick to preloaded SMS apps, and younger generations that are seeing a shift away from SMS messaging will continue to use more popular platforms like Facebook and Snapchat.

So who are these 10 million people who have downloaded Google Allo? Are they simply curious or does Google Allo truly offer something that others don’t? Are you using Google Allo on a regular basis?

The Force is strong with Google Allo’s new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sticker pack

Google keeps getting some cool licensed sticker packs to add to its Allo messaging app. The latest such pack allows you to “stretch out with your feelings” and express them with animated stickers based on the upcoming movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

See also:

Google Allo: Everything you need to know

September 21, 2016

The Force is strong with Google Allo’s new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sticker pack

The eighth live-action feature film in the Star Wars series officially lands on December 16, but before then Google Allo users can put in Rogue One stickers to add a little more “oomph” to their messages. They can express their anger by using the Death Star, show their fighting skills with blind warrior Chirrut Îmwe or tell people they are their friend with K-2SO.

The world premiere of the movie was held in Los Angeles on Saturday, and the early word from the folks who attended it seems to indicate that Rogue One may be one of the best, if not the best, Star Wars films made, with lots of references to the original trilogy. Do you plan to use the Rogue One stickers while chatting with Allo? More importantly, will you be going to see the movie when it is in theaters this coming week?

Get it at Google Play

Google introduces Hindi language capabilities to Google Allo

Launched in September this year, Google Allo is a smart messaging app that also includes Google Assistant that helps you get any kind of information you want and gets things done.

To make the Google Allo experience better, easier, and more relevant for non-English speakers, the company is introducing Hindi language capabilities to the Assistant and Smart Reply in Google Allo. Starting today, these new features will begin rolling out on Google Allo, and will be available to all users over the coming few days.

Since it’s launch, Google Allo has received tremendous response, especially in India, which has one of the highest number of Google Allo users. The Google Assistant, in particular, is one of the most loved features in Google Allo – one in every 12 messages in group chats are messages to the Google Assistant. We are enthused by this and today’s launch enables us to extend these features to the next millions of users in a language of their choice.

– Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager, Google

Google Allo: Everything you need to know

September 21, 2016

The Google Assistant in Allo will now understand and respond in Hindi. To start using the Assistant in Hindi, all you need to do is to say “Talk to me in Hindi” or adjust the language setting on your device.

Smart Reply in Allo makes it easier for users to respond quickly, even when on the go. Now, powered by Machine Learning, Google Allo not just understands text, but can also help with suggested responses in Hindi to images sent by friends and family. It will recognize the language you’re chatting in and begin to show suggested responses in that language.

Download Google Allo from Play Store

Google Allo just got a bizarre Thanksgiving sticker pack designed by Buzzfeed

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Google has partnered with Buzzfeed illustrator Kevin Valente on a new Allo sticker pack called ‘Getting Ready for the Weekend’. In a blog post published yesterday, Google said the stickers were designed to help celebrate all aspects of Thanksgiving.

The animated stickers feature a bunch of typically wacky designs, from self-crisping sun-bathing bacon, to a tearful man at the grave of “The Weekend”, to an electronic tag strapped to a bare ankle besides the words “Where you at?”.

Google Allo just got a bizarre Thanksgiving sticker pack designed by Buzzfeed

Google has introduced a steady stream of new content to Allo since it launched in September. Last month, Google delivered stickers based on the hit US show Stranger Things, and Google Allo background themes arrived just last week.

The ‘Getting Ready for the Weekend’ sticker pack is available from today for download from the sticker store in Google Allo on Android and iOS.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Android Authority!

Google Allo adds background themes and Smart Smiley feature

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The recently launched Google Allo messaging app continues to add new features via updates from the Play Store. The latest version includes a new option that was hinted at a couple of weeks ago in a leak: background themes.

See also:

Google Allo: Everything you need to know

September 21, 2016

Basically, Allo users now have the option to switch from a basic background for their text chats to a variety of different and colorful designs. While this is just a visual change, it certainly will help make chatting more interesting compared to a plain white background.

Google is also adding what the company calls the Smart Smiley button to Allo with this update. The company says that people use less than 3 percent of the emojis that are currently available for chats. The Smart Smiley button is designed to change that. Users can just press on the button while they are typing a message to a friend, and a list of relevant emoji and stickers will appear that can be placed inside the message. Those choices will change based on both the words and sentiment for each text message, and Smart Smiley can even offer suggestions for emojis before you start typing based on the current conversation.

Finally, Google Allo users can add official stickers based on the upcoming movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. The film, set in the universe of Harry Potter, debuts in movie theaters on Friday, Nov. 18. What do you think of the new background themes, the Smart Smiley button and the Fantastic Beasts stickers that have been added to Google Allo?

Get it at Google Play